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Driver Crashes Pickup into Castillo de San Marcos Fort in St. Augustine

5:06 PM, May 14, 2012   |    comments
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Photo Gallery: Driver Crashes Pickup into Historic St. Augustine Fort
  • A piece of white coquina stone is lodged in the front bumper of the truck which crashed into the fort.
    

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- The Castillo de San Marcos Fort in St. Augustine has been damaged by a man who drove a pickup truck into a retaining wall near the fort's moat.

The driver, Michael Harrison Bridges, barreled through a fence in the fort parking lot, St. Augustine Police said. He then went up and over a hill and slammed into the outer wall.

Harrison appeared to be traveling at a high rate of speed, according to police. Castillo de San Marcos supervisor Gordie Wilson said the damage to the wall is significant, adding it's too soon to say what the repair cost will be.

Police estimated the damage to the fence and palm tree at about $7,000.  

Wilson is waiting on an estimate to repair and rebuild the wall from masons who are evaluating the damage.

Wilson said, "It's a national monument. It's a big loss. We'll do what we can to repair it, but you can never replace the integrity you lose when you take a piece of a wall that's been here for 200 years."

The wall was built in the 1700s by the Spanish colonists.

Harrison was taken to Flagler Hospital with minor injuries. Charges against him are pending.

A witness told First Coast News he saw another person in the truck.

John Christie, who is visiting from Tallahassee and was out "ghost hunting," saw the crash and rushed to help the people in the truck.  He said he saw a person run from the truck toward the waterway. Christie did not see the person well enough to get a description.

The police report does not mention that a person fled the scene of the crash.

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